Thomas is attempting his third comeback from a right ACL knee injury. The cornerback had a $6 million option in his contract in March and the Giants were going to avoid that option after Thomas re-injured his ACL during training camp last year. So this move should alleviate more cap space for the Giants, who released Michael Boley, Ahmad Bradshaw and Chris Canty last week in cap-clearing moves.
"It’s been a long two years," Thomas said in a statement released by the Giants. "It’s definitely been a test of my will. But it’s made me a stronger person. It showed me a lot of things about myself that I needed to fix and at the same time it showed me how strong I was. It’s been a tough time for me and my family and especially beating myself up. But God has seen me through. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. I believe there’s a bigger plan for me. I’m hoping He will show me and I’m riding it out right now.
"I’m on a real high right now. Since I moved to Pensacola to train I’ve been a whole lot better mentally and physically. I’m real happy right now re-signing with the Giants and getting a chance to be with my teammates and get another opportunity to play football again. It’s been two years -- it’s been a very long time. I’m excited to get ready for offseason training to be with the guys in the film room, the meetings - all that stuff I missed."
Thomas tweeted a picture of his helmet on Monday asking to guess who’s back. He was slated to start opposite Corey Webster in training camp last season as he was returning from a torn ACL suffered during the preseason in 2011. But he suffered another setback that required surgery. He hasn't played in a regular season game since the end of the 2010 season.
The questions surrounding Thomas now are how effective will the 28-year-old cornerback be making a third comeback and will he be coming back as a cornerback or safety? General manager Jerry Reese brought up the notion shortly after the Giants’ season ended about a potential position change for Thomas, citing that safety might help with Thomas' knee and possibly prolong his career.
"I can’t speak on that right now,” Thomas said of whether he will be able to step onto the field without thinking about his surgically repaired knee. “But I imagine I will be a little hesitant at first. But that’s what practice is for. Hopefully, they’ll give me enough opportunities to get out there and practice and get my knee in shape to feel confidence and trust in it. Last year, I definitely felt confident in my knee. What happened, I couldn’t tell you to this day. It just wasn’t meant to be. But I definitely did everything possible to get ready and that’s my game plan again."
And as for a possible position change, Thomas said he has an open mind.
"At this point, I don’t care if they move me to kicker," Thomas said. "I just want to play football."
The Giants currently have starter Antrel Rolle and backups Will Hill and Tyler Sash at safety. Stevie Brown is a restricted free agent and Kenny Phillips is an unrestricted free agent. Webster is entering the final year of his contract and the team also has Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley at cornerback.
Thomas, who first tore his right ACL while at USC, recently began jogging outside a pool earlier this month. He rehabbed extremely hard last year and is ready to grind through yet another comeback attempt.
"My knee feels great,” Thomas said. “It was a little struggle at first. It was a little inconsistent with the swelling. But for the last month-and-a half I haven’t dealt with any swelling at all. It’s progressed the last two weeks since I started running. The doctors are really happy with the way I’m progressing. They had to increase my workload because it wasn’t enough."
So, tell us what you think of Thomas returning and do you want to see him play corner or safety?